Dear Members,

The 2010 CRCA season is scheduled to start this Saturday, March 6.
For the races in March, riders may wear the warm weather clothing of their choice. CRCA or sub-team jackets are not required. New orders of club clothing should be available soon.

We are coming off of a successful 2009 season where we were named USACycling’s Club of the Year. 2010 is off to a good start with new membership up almost 100% from last year at this point in the season. We have over 100 new members already this year. Getting new people into the sport is one of the things CRCA does best. Over 25% of our membership every year is new members. Let’s make our new members feel welcome in the club and offer help where we can.

Our free coaching sessions are open to all members. New members should especially try to attend.

Most members join CRCA because of our Park races, so it is very important to remind everyone about the rules we must follow to maintain our privilege of racing in Central Park. While our relations with the Department of Parks and the Central Park Conservancy are excellent, our continued racing depends on showing that bike racing can coexist with the public’s use of the park. It is very important that we follow the rules set by the Dept. of Parks.

The Dept. of Parks is primarily concerned that our races are safe and do not endanger the public. They also insist that we respect other users of the park and the park landscape. Please bear in mind the following simple rules:

Stay out of the recreation lane.
Respect other users of the park.
Do not block or congregate in the rec lane, before and after racing,
Do not ride backwards on the course, if you dropped out of the race or after the race,
Do not use the park paths, stay on the roadway when getting to and from the race.
Use the bathroom behind registration. It will be open.
Do not put bikes or bags on the lawn.
The park demands that we supply marshals to secure the course. Marshals must show up on time to get to their spots on the course. Show up 45 minutes before the scheduled race start, not 5 minutes before the race. Marshals should have a bicycle so they can get to their spots on time. Expect to be assigned a spot, not to negotiate for your favorite spot.
It is recommended to bring a cell phone so you can easily communicate any emergency situation. If a marshal is unable to get to their spot on time, it is the same as not showing.

Having club members marshal is an important part of the club and helps ensure that marshals are attentive and know what is going on. While marshal substitutes are allowed, it is preferred to have members marshal. If you use a substitute get someone who could do as good a job as you could. This has not always been the case. Members are responsible for the actions of their marshal substitutes and will be penalized for any violations of the marshal code by their substitute.

When you marshal, your primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the public. Park users have the right to use the recreation lane. Racers must stay out of the rec lane or they are disqualified. Marshals must direct recreational park users to get into the rec lane when the race approaches. Marshals must not interfere with rec users and must stay out of the way of people using the rec lane. Marshals need to be attentive and make park users aware that a bike race is in progress but should not be overly loud or obnoxious. Please take your marshal responsibilities seriously and use good judgment to keep park users safe by following some simple guidelines:

Blow your whistles when the race approaches to warn people in the vicinity.
Look out for and forewarn park users entering the park that a bike race is in progress.
Let recreational bike riders know that they should get in the rec lane when the race approaches.
Do not interfere with people using the rec lane.
Be aware of what is going on. If you are by a park entrance and the race is approaching, do not let vehicles enter the roadway until after the race passes.
Stay focused on your job, marshal duty is not time to take pictures, to read a paper, to sit down and enjoy a cup coffee or even to watch the race, your role is to protect public safety.
If we all follow these simple rules that are hardly an inconvenience and show up to marshal, we will continue to be able to race.

On Saturday and for all races and coaching sessions remember to bring your USACycling license and a signed USACycling waiver with you: If you received a number in the mail, please remember to bring it with you. If you did not receive a number, please arrive a little early to pick it up. If you have not yet joined USACycling, you cannot race. Marshals must sign the volunteer waiver.

We have recently finalized our schedule with Parks and will shortly be scheduling TT’s and other events. Look for a TT and an Alpine Hill Climb in June. The Club TT Championship will likely be in early August. These dates will be posted on the website as soon as they are finalized.

Besides doing the club races, members are encouraged to compete in open races. We have finally moved our Bear Mtn race off of Mother’s Day. It is scheduled for May 16 and is again a qualifier for the Nature Valley Grand Prix Pro Ride team. The Nancy Morgenstern Memorial Fall Bear race is September 12.

The club is only as good as its membership. We could not put on the club races or the Bear Mtn. races without the membership’s support. We cannot support the Central Park Conservancy or support a junior cycling team without our membership’s support. Please offer your feedback and suggestions about what we’re doing and what new things we can do.

Hoping everyone has a successful and safe season,

Michael Green

CRCA President